Tuesday, April 01, 2008


The Elisson Bookshelf

Being another installment in a series entitled “What I’ve Been Reading Lately.”

It’s been another ten months since I’ve posted about the Old Book Pile d’Elisson. And, yes, I’ve admitted several times that posting a list of the books I’ve been reading is nothing more than another great big Exercise in Self-Indulgence, not too different from, say, my Friday Random Ten. But self-indulgent or not, it’s one handy way to fill a blogpost...and my creative energies seem to be at a low ebb these days.

Last time, I didn’t try to list everything I had read since my last Bookshelf post, but this time I will, out of sheer perversity. So here goes:

  • Blaze - Richard Bachman

    The last book of the four I read last June, this was nice, lightweight beach reading by Stephen King, using his Richard Bachman alias...an old novel resurrected from the Odds and Ends Trunk.

  • Caddy For Life - John Feinstein

  • Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates - Tom Robbins

    Amazingly, the first Tom Robbins novel I ever read, a gift from the Mistress of Sarcasm.

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling

    The concluding volume of the Harry Potter series of novels.

  • Master and Commander - Patrick O’Brian

    The first book in the twenty-novel Aubrey/Maturin series.

  • A Sea of Words: A Lexicon and Companion for Patrick O’Brian’s Seafaring Tales - Dean King

    Can’t tell the players - or figure out what they’re saying - without a little help from this companion volume.

  • Settling Accounts: In at the Death - Harry Turtledove

    The conclusion of Turtledove’s Settling Accounts series, an alternative version of World War II as fought between the Confederate States (under a Nazi-like dictator) and the United States. Formulaic...but a guilty pleasure.

  • Post Captain - Patrick O’Brian

  • H.M.S. Surprise - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Mauritius Command - Patrick O’Brian

  • Desolation Island - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Fortune of War - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Surgeon’s Mate - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Ionian Mission - Patrick O’Brian

  • Treason’s Harbour - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Far Side of the World - Patrick O’Brian

  • Lobscouse & Spotted Dog: Which It’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels of Patrick O'Brian - Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas

    A cookbook written by a mother-daughter team, this was the inspiration for our infamous Jack Aubrey Dinners.

  • The Letter of Marque - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Thirteen Gun Salute - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Nutmeg of Consolation - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Truelove - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Wine-Dark Sea - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Commodore - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Yellow Admiral - Patrick O’Brian

  • The Hundred Days - Patrick O’Brian

  • Blue at the Mizzen - Patrick O’Brian

    The final volume in the Aubrey/Maturin series; the last book under the wire in October. I managed to kill the whole series in just three months...it was that addictive.

  • Diary of Indignities - Patrick Hughes

  • The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose - Keith Scott

    More than you wanted to know about the Jay Ward animation empire.

  • The Sunne In Splendour - Sharon Kay Penman

    An unconventional portrayal of Richard III of England, herein presented as a hero instead of a villain. A thick tome with little, tiny type, it took all month to read.

  • Bowl of Cherries - Millard Kaufman

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies - Jared Diamond

    An attempt to understand why modern Western civilization developed where it did...as opposed, say, to Australia or North America. Fascinating and moderately scholarly, yet not too much for the layman reader.

  • A Dangerous Man - Charlie Huston

  • Moon Flights - Elizabeth Moon

  • The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection - Gardner F. Dozois, editor

  • Etiquette Guide to Japan - Boyé Lafayette de Mente

  • Comedy At The Edge: How Stand-Up In The 1970s Changed America - Richard Zoglin

  • Opening Atlantis - Harry Turtledove

  • The Japanese and the Jews - Isaiah Ben-Dasan

    Intriguing comparison of two cultures that have almost nothing in common, by an orthodox Jew who was born in Japan and who grew up in that distinctively non-Western, non-Jewish environment.

Whew. That’s thirty-eight books in just over nine months.

I’m working on two more at the moment: Stephen King’s Duma Key, and The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Book Scare and How It Changed America, by David Hadju. I’ll let you know how they turn out...

So: What have you been reading lately?

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